Past Speakers

Schindler Poster



Department of Biology, Trent University

March 12, 2020

What is the future of our aquatic ecosystems? In this lecture, we will explore the challenges facing our lakes, rivers, and wetlands including climate change, invasive species, pollution, over-fishing, and development of the surrounding lands. For each challenge our waters face, there are socio-economic drivers and a range of effects on aquatic ecosystems. Assessing and understanding these threats is central to sound management now and in the future. Deep understanding of ecosystems can lead to wiser, more effective, and more cost-efficient solutions. Together, we will show the importance of innovative and sound science to addressing the diverse challenges facing our waterbodies. 

David Schindler 2018 Lecture Poster


Dr. Karen Kidd

Jarislowsky Chair in Environment and Health, Professor, Biology & School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University

November 29, 2018 

It appears that the pharmaceuticals that we use – pain killers, birth control, antiepileptic drugs, antibiotics, heart medications, etc. – and excrete are not completely broken down during the treatment of municipal wastewaters. These drugs are found in rivers and lakes and some affect the health of fish and other aquatic life. For example, estrogens in the birth control pills can feminize male fish, resulting in their production of eggs and reproductive failure. This talk will describe how commonly-used medications affect aquatic life and what can be done to reduce the risks they pose to our aquatic ecosystems.

The Urban Future of Earth Lecture Poster


Dr. Peter M. Groffman

Senior Scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

May 9, 2017 

The urban environment is increasing all across North America. An apparent result of urban land use change is the homogenization across cities, where neighbourhoods regardless of geographical location have similar patterns of roads, residential lots, and commercial areas. This homogenization also alters ecological dynamics with implications for hydrological cycles, biodiversity, and nutrient cycling across scales from the yard up to the whole continent. This talk will consider how homogenization due to the "human element" in urban ecology affects nutrient cycles and ecosystem health in these increasingly widespread and highly recognizable environments. 

Reflections on the North Woods


Dr. John Pastor

Professor, Department of Biology, University of Minnesota Duluth

March 10, 2016 

The North Woods is one of the most ecologically, geologically, and aesthetically interesting places you will find. Here, geologically young glacial deposits from the most recent Ice Ages lie atop the ancient Canadian Shield, which contains some of the oldest rocks on earth. The North Woods is the band of forest centered on the Great Lakes region and the St. Lawrence River where the range of sugar maple and other northern hardwoods to the south overlaps with that of balsam fir and boreal conifers to the north. This is the land of Christmas trees, moose, and maple syrup. In this talk, I will explore the nature and natural history of the North Woods. You will learn about how the North Woods became assembled, how its resident organisms interact with each other, and its future in light of expected global warming and human change.

Phosphorus food and our future


Dr. James J. elser

Professor Arizona State University

June 24, 2015 

Phosphorus (P) is essential to humans and society. Mining is the primary source for P fertilizers that are used to maintain food production and the green revolution. Of the Major biogeochemical cycles, the cycle of P has been most severely disrupted by such human activities during the dawn of the Anthropocene. This talk will discuss various dimensions of the challenges present in P sustainability from expanding demand and rising fertilizer prices to the widespread proliferation of toxic algal blooms. The talk will also describe developments in the global P sustainability movement. These efforts seek to improve practices and technologies that can result in a closed P cycle during coming decades 

Exploring our past to protect our future lecture poster


Dr. john p. smol

Professor, Department of Biology, Queens University 

March 27, 2014 

Dr. Smol discusses how past changes in aquatic ecosystems can be studied through the use of proxy data archived in lake and river sediments. He further shows how these approaches are being used to understand current human impacts on lake ecosystems and challenges that lake managers face when dealing with multiple changing stressors. Dr. Smol is a Professor at Queen’s University in the Department of Biology where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. He founded and currently co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), which is dedicated to the study of global environmental change with a primary focus on changes in lake ecology.

Scale gas lecture poster


dr. robert howarth 

Ecosystem Ecologist, Cornell University

May 23, 2013 

Natural gas trapped in shale rock is being extracted across the US and parts of Canada by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which involves using pressurized water and chemicals to release otherwise unobtainable natural gas deposits. Dr. Howarth examines the risks to the environment, including water and local air quality but focusing on global change, posed by fracking and shows how future energy needs can be met without this or other types of fossil fuels

For the sake of our lakes lecture poster


Dr. Kathryn Cottingham

Professor, Biological Sciences, Dartmouth University

March 15, 2012 

Dr. Kathryn Cottingham is a Professor at Dartmouth in the Department of Biological Sciences. She is an ecologist who studies diverse topics including advancing quantitative methods of ecology, food webs of lake ecosystems, the ecology of Vibrio cholerae, and the biogeochemistry of arsenic and other metals in pregnant women and infants. Prior to joining the Dartmouth faculty in 1998, Kathy completed her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1996 with work on phytoplankton responses to nutrient enrichment in lake ecosystems. She subsequently completed postdoctoral research from 1996 to 1998 at the US National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, CA. She has been a member of the editorial board of the highly regarded journal, Ecology, since 2004 and has contributed to diverse international workshops on topics ranging from biocomplexity of ecosystems to disease ecology. In this lecture, she will specifically examine the effects of cyanobacterial blooms on nutrient-poor lakes.

For the sake of our lakes lecture poster


Dr. paul frost

Schindler Professor 

March 2, 2011 

Trent University officially announced Dr. Paul Frost as the new David Schindler Professor in Aquatic Science at a lecture and panel discussion, “For the Sake of our Lakes: Global Change and Its Effects on the Lakes of Ontario” on March 2, 2011 at Traill College’s Bagnani Hall. President Steven E. Franklin welcomed the crowd who filled the lecture hall to standing room only. “How do lakes respond to global change?” asked Professor Frost, Trent’s inaugural holder of the David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science and expert in the role of nutrients in aquatic foodwebs. Prof. Frost’s lecture presentation outlined the responses that water systems can have to global environmental shifts, emphasizing that small inputs can have big and sometimes irreversible responses. 

Life sustaining life lecture poster


Dr. davId schindler

Professor, Killam Memorial Chair and Professor of Ecology, University of Alberta 

March 24, 2010 

Lecture with Panel Featuring:

  • David Schindler, Killam Memorial Professor of Ecology, University of Alberta
  • Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians and Author of Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis
  • Jon Grant, Former President & CEO, Quaker Oats and Chair, Ontario Biodiversity Council
  • Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology, Duke University